PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Animal lovers all over Palm Beach County are contributing to the healing of sea turtles at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Sierra Malnove is a beekeeper and founder of Palm Beach Creamed Honey Co. She's one of several beekeepers who offer honey to Loggerhead as a healing therapy for the turtles' wounds.
Malnove got her first hive eight years ago and she's become obsessed with every step of the process of commercial beekeeping. She maintains hives across the county and on her property and enjoys every element of commercial beekeeping, from moving colonies, to selling flavored and raw honeys.
She's seen firsthand how honey can heal. It's a practice that dates back thousands of years.
"My partner Al cut his thumb nearly in half with a table saw, took him to the emergency room, they sewed it back and the girl said, 'I do not think this is going to heal,'" she explained.
Malnove said Al kept his thumb wrapped or submerged in honey for days. It's what he credits with his healing.
"Today, you can't even see a scar," she said. "His nail healed, totally normal, like his nail was cut in half."
Malnove has given gallons of her honey to Loggerhead. Malnove does not remove any nutrients in the process of making her honey, which makes it useful for therapy. The honey is raw and unprocessed, keeping all of its beneficial properties that could be useful in healing treatments.
Galapagos the sea turtle sustained injuries during an unintentional boat strike. Loggerhead Marinelife Center's director of rehabilitation, Dr. Max Polyak, used Malnove's honey to treat the wound.
"Topical, antimicrobial therapy, it's very effective for that," he said.
Honey is one of several therapies used on the turtles. Polyak said it's a special one.
"When we use the honey as therapy, to always remember the bees, because they did the work," he said.
The process is very fulfilling for Malnove.
"We get to do what we love and we get to help others do what they love," she said.